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Rose City dresses up for Comic Con adventure

by: COURTESY OF COMIC-CON - Southern Oregon 'Evil Dead' actor Bruce Campbell was a star attraction at this year's Comic Con at the Oregon Convention Center.Superheroes have always intrigued Stephanie Medeiros, even as a young girl.

Standing amidst the cacophony and color of the opening moments of Saturday’s Wizard World Comic Con at the Oregon Convention Center, Medeiros said she felt a little like the Wonder Woman costume she was wearing.

Probably a tad over 6-foot in her boots, Medeiros fit nicely into her skin-tight outfit — pushup bra drawing nearly as much attention as her smallish waist and long shapely legs. Getting asked to pose for photos with complete strangers — some in costume, some not — was just a benefit from the effort.

She wasn’t alone. A good portion of the thousands who poured into the three-day event were dressed in their favorite costume. From super heroes to Jedi warriors to Batman and his many nemeses, Comic Con drew them all.

“It is never boring,” Medeiros said. “I grew up watching Lynda Carter play Wonder Woman and thought how great it would be to have those special powers. Dressing up, then coming to a place like this kind of helps rekindle that magic I used to feel.”

Others are anxious to feel her power, too. It’s all part of the Comic Con community.

Judging by the smiles and laughter, seeing and being seen are part of the fun.

“I love it,” said Portland’s Robert Jones, who admitted a disdain for Batman, preferring instead to be seen as The Joker. “It is a chance to escape and be with like-minded people who simply want to have fun, meet other people who enjoy the same things they do, and perhaps be a little silly. Who doesn’t need some of that?”

Perhaps that’s the beauty of Comic Con — all are accepted. There is no worry about race, religion, socio-economics or sexual orientation, just a passion for the art, stories and peripherals of the comic book world. You don’t even need to dress up.

The experience differs for everyone.

“We like to look through the boxes with the comic books in them,” said Skylar Reed of Tigard.

The 28-year-old was on hand with a couple of teenage siblings who were nose-deep in a box of old Marvel comics. At a $1 each, the chance to find some good buys had the teens transfixed as their fingers nimbly rifled through the comics.

Veterans, indeed.

“I used to collect a lot, but the truth is we just like comic books,” Reed said, pointing to his brother and sister. “These guys will stand here for hours just going through the boxes looking for ‘who knows what?’ But they’ll know it when they see it. There’s still something about a comic book, with the colors and art, that is special. When you’re a kid you instantly recognize it. I think as an adult, sometimes you forget, so it has been fun to have the ‘young Jedi’ kind of drag me back into it. It’s just a fun world. I mean, look at this place. It’s wild.”

And it should be. With Jonah Hex, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Green Lantern, Wolverine, Green Arrow and other comic book favorites joined by Sailor Moon, Star Wars characters and just about any memorable name or face in-between, Comic Con offered a little something for everyone.

From art to comics to collectibles of all kinds, Comic Con packs an aesthetic punch that would make the cast of The Big Bang Theory shout a collective “Bazinga.” It also draws on lower level and iconic celebrities like Bruce Campbell, Henry Winkler, Dean Cain, comic icon Stan Lee and character actor James Hong to appear, sign autographs, take photos and participate in question and answer periods.

Hong, who has carved out a career of more than 50 years, has worked with legends such as John Wayne, William Holden and Raymond Burr. At Comic Con, he seemed to be recognized mostly for playing Lo-Pan in “Big Trouble in Little China,” a movie starring Kurt Russell from the 1980s that has reached cult status. Hong talked about the rise in opportunities that minorities have had during his 50 years, though admitted you still see Chinese actors as waiters, store owners and in other traditional roles.

Cain admitted that with a young song in his life, his priorities have changed, too.

Best loved for his role in “Lois & Clark,” Cain said he focuses more on family movies through the Hallmark or Family channels.

“I want my son to be able to see the work I’m doing,” Cain said during his Q&A. “I’m doing a lot of family-friendly work these days.”